With the Xander Bogaerts Express picking up speed and passengers by the day the Red Sox want to make one thing clear — they’re not writing off Will Middlebrooks.

With numerous outlets including the Herald making the case for Bogaerts’ arrival sooner rather than later this week the Sox stress they’ve made no such decision on the uber-prospect’s future and in fact could easily summon Middlebrooks to play third for the rest of the season.

“It’s not predetermined that Xander is going to be the guy” manager John Farrell stressed last night before the Sox played the Astros.

After being slowed by a back injury and hitting .192 in 53 games with the Red Sox Middlebrooks is hitting .259 with 10 homers and a .772 OPS in 42 games at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Bogaerts meanwhile is hitting .277 with eight homers and an .830 OPS in 49 games there.

Farrell said the team is still considering three options: sticking with a platoon that currently includes Brandon Snyder and Brock Holt summoning Bogaerts or summoning Middlebrooks.

“There’s no predetermined selection” Farrell said. “That’s as candid as I can make it.”

Middlebrooks certainly has factors working in his favor. Unlike Bogaerts he’s already on the 40-man roster. Unlike Bogaerts he has a record of big-league success even if you have to go back to last season to find it. And unlike Bogaerts he’s an experienced third baseman who wouldn’t be learning the position in the big leagues.

“The defensive component is much more natural for Will than Xander who’s still learning the position” Farrell noted. “That’s heavily weighed in this not just what the offensive numbers are. Will’s already had a large number of games here where he was a dominant type of offensive player a year ago and yet a little bit of a step back this year. You’ve got more of a track record in the major leagues to project what might be there.”

So as much as the understandable excitement generated by Bogaerts’ potential promotion has fans and media buzzing internally the Sox don’t view the decision as a slam dunk.

“There’s been no change in our view of (Middlebrooks) as a player” Farrell said. “This is an extremely talented guy. Sure there were some struggles and some physical things that got in the way but that’s part of finding your way as a big league player. His skills are going to emerge again at some point. How we even out the peaks and valleys is the most important thing.”